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Self Publishing: The Pros and Cons

Are you conflicted on indie vs. traditional publishing? So was I! There are a lot of different aspects that play into making such an important choice for one's writing career! Did you know I actually queried DARKWIND for several months before I began my indie journey? (I got my last reaction after DARKWIND came out 😂) I did a lot of homework deciding my path, and you should, too! But if it helps, I wanted to share the top 5 PROS and CONS I've found as a self-published independent author!


🧬 CREATIVE CONTROL. This was ultimately what sold me on indie. I wanted the final say in every aspect of my book, from content, to cover, to formatting. I love having my fingers in every aspect and having final say on what goes - and it's made me a better business owner to boot! 📝 TIMETABLE. Some writers write fast, others write slow. The beauty of Indie is that you don't have a deadline on which an entire design team is hanging. You're freer to go at your own pace, make exceptions for your mental health, etc! ⚖ CREATIVE FREEDOM. As an Indie, no one gets to tell you what to include or not, what absolutely works or what doesn't, what has to happen for your book to be marketable. Indie isn't constrained to trends (though you're always welcome to write to market!) and has even breathed new life into genres like dystopian! 💰 ROYALTIES. Pretty straightforward; aside from printing costs, you keep everything you make, because you aren't paying back an advance on your book! ‼️ RISK TAKING. The ability to take risks as an Indie author is huge. Trad pub doesn't always afford this opportunity bc they want a guarantee of success on their investment. They want a safe sell. But going against the status quo is often how the next big thing comes about, and as an indie I love being able to do daring things like write long fantasy epics, shake up POVs, write counter-culture characters, include my faith themes, be stylistic, etc. Those have been some of my best work!! And if those risks don't pan out, the indie author is free to figure out a new way without worrying about being dropped from their publisher, etc.!


👒 100 HATS. As an Indie author, you do just about everything - or pay to have it done! You're in charge of building your own brand, marketing, assuring quality control, dealing with difficult situations and people, etc. And it can be a LOT! 📝 QUALITY CONTROL. Just about every indie author has run into print errors with the likes of IngramSpark or KDP, and occasionally they won't reimburse you for these errors if you can't prove the issue is absolutely their fault. (And even then, sometimes they'll give you the runaround!) ⚖ NO ADVOCATE. Because you don't have a team or an agent with industry knowledge to back you and advise you, there's at times a greater risk of making poor business decisions or being taken advantage of...and with less recompense when that occurs. 💰 COST. You pay for everything, from cover to editors to marketing and promotional items, author copies, and so forth. And it can add up! ‼️ RETURN ON INVESTMENT. Since indies don't get an advance, there's no money in it up front - and it can take a while to recoup the money put into making the book a finished product. For some it takes many years to break even with the cost of publishing. What are some prons and cons YOU'VE seen/experienced in self publishing? Share them in the comments! 👇

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